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Contact Information:
Dr. Robert L. Carroll
Redpath Museum
859 Sherbrooke Street, West
Montreal, Qc CANADA
H3A 2K6
Phone: (514)-398-4086 ext. 4090
Fax: (514)-398-3185

e-mail: robert.carroll@mcgill.ca


Review
"An excellent, comprehensive overview of the diversity and evolutionary history of amphibians. It reflects a lifetime of specimen-based research on and thinking about the subject by the foremost student of early evolution of land vertebrates." -- Hans-Dieter Sues, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Product Description
For nearly 100 million years amphibians and their ancestors dominated the terrestrial and shallow water environments of the earth. Archaic animals with an amphibious way of life gave rise not only to modern frogs, salamanders, and caecilians but also to the ancestors of reptiles, birds, and mammals. In this landmark publication, one of the leading paleontologists of our time explores a pivotal moment of vertebrate evolution, the rise of amphibians.

Synthesizing findings from the rich and highly diverse fossil record of amphibians, Robert Carroll traces their origin back 365 million years, when particular species of fish traveled down an evolutionary pathway of fin modification that gave rise to legs. This period of dramatic radiation was followed by a cataclysmic extinction 250 million years ago. After a long gap, modern amphibian groups gradually emerged. Now the number of amphibian species and individuals throughout the tropical and temperate regions of the earth exceeds that of mammals.

The Rise of Amphibians is documented with more than two hundred illustrations of fossil amphibians and sixteen exquisite color plates depicting amphibians in their natural habitats throughout their long existence. The most comprehensive examination of amphibian evolution ever produced, The Rise of Amphibians is an essential resource for paleontologists, herpetologists, geologists, and evolutionary biologists.

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Research Summary

Vertebrate palaeontology. Origin and early evolution of reptiles and amphibians; anatomy and natural history of Paleozoic tetrapods. Long-term evolutionary processes.


Current Graduate Students & their Research


  • Nadia Frobisch: Paleozoic ancestry of salamanders
  • Trond Sigurdsen: Permian amphibamids and the ancestry of frogs.
  • Tamson Rothery: Pleurosaurs: Jurassic Aquatic Reptiles



Recent Publications

2009

Carroll, R. L. The Rise of Amphibians: 365 Million Years of Evolution.  The Johns Hopkins University Press, 544 pages.

2008 (TBA)

2007

Carroll, R. L. The Palaeozoic ancestry of salamanders, frogs, and caecilians.  Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 150 (Suppl. 1), 2007, pp. 1-140.

Jenkins, F. A., Walsh, D. M. and Carroll, R. L. Anatomy of Eocaecilia micropodia, a limbed gymnophionan of the Early Jurassic.  Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Harvard 158:1-81, pp. 106 (Ms) 47 figures.

Fröbisch, N. B., Carroll, R. L. and Schoch, R. R. Limb ossification in the Paleozoic branchiosaurid Apateon (Temnospondyli) and the early evolution of preaxial dominance in tetrapod limb development.  Evolution & Development, v. 9, 2007, pp. 69-75.

Carroll, R. L. and Holmes, R. B.  Evolution of the appendicular skeleton of amphibians. In: Fins into Limbs. B. K. Hall (ed). University of Chicago Press, 2007, pp. 185-224.

Carroll, R. L. Amniote Paleobiology: Perspectives on the evolution of mammals, birds, and reptiles.  Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2007, pp. 1-2.  (Book Review). 

2006 

Carroll, R. L.  Recollections.  Paludicola, v. 5, 2006, pp. 1;07-108.

2005

Carroll, R.L.  Between water and land.  Nature, 2005, pp. 38-39.

2004

Carroll, R.L.  The importance of branchiosaurs in determining the ancestry of the modern amphibian orders.  Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Palaeontologis, Abhandlungen, v. 23, 2004, pp. 5-28.

Carroll, R., Boivert, C., Bolt, R., Green, D., Philips, N., Rolian, C., Schoch, R. & Tarenko, A.  Changing patterns of ontogeny from osteolepiform fish through Permian tetrapods as a guide to the early evolution of land vertebrates.  In:  Recent Advances in the Origin and early Radiation of Vertebrates, (eds.) G. Arratia, R. Cloutier, and M. Wilson, Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, München, 2004, pp. 321-343.

Carroll, R., Boivert, C., Bolt, R., Green, D., Philips, N., Rolian, C., Schoch, R. & Tarenko, A. Evolution of the appendicular skeleton of amphibians.  In: Appendicular Skeleton of Vertebrates, (ed.) B. Hall, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2004, 100 pp.

2003

Schoch, R.R. & Carroll, R.L. Ontogenetic evidence for the Paleozoic ancestry of Salamanders.  Evolution and Development, v. 5, 2003, pp. 314-324.

Anderson, J.S., Carroll, R.L. & Rowe, T. New information on Lethicus stocki (Tetrapoda, Lepospondyl, Aïstopoda from High Resolution Computerized Tomography and a phylogenetic analysis of Aïstopoda.  Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 40, 2003, pp. 1071-1083.

2002

Carroll, R.L.  Early land vertebrates.  Nature, v. 418, 2002, pp. 35-36.

Cote, S., Carroll, R.L., Cloutier, R. & Bar-Sagi, L.  Vertebral development in the Devonian sarcopterygian fish Eusthenopteron foordi, and the polarity of vertebral evolution in non-amniote tetrapods.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 22, 2002, pp. 487-502.

Cote, S., Carroll, R.L., Cloutier, R. & Bar-Sagi, L. Evolution of the capacity to evolve.  Journal of Evolutionary Biology, v. 15, 2002, pp. 911-921.

2001

Carroll, R.L.  Chinese salamanders tell tales.  Nature, v. 410, 2001, pp. 534-536. 

Carroll, R.L. Early vertebrates.  Trends in Ecology & Eovlution, v. 16, 2001, pp. 524

Carroll, R.L. The origin and early radiation of terrestrial vertrebrates.  Journal of Paleontology, v. 75, 2001, pp. 1202-1213.

2000

Carroll, R.L.  Toward a new evolutionary synthesis.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution, v. 15, 2000, pp. 27-32.

Carroll, R.L. A new evolutionary synthesis: do we need one?  Trends in Ecology and Evolution, v. 15, 2000, pp. 205-206.

Heatwole, H. & Carroll, R.L. eds.  Palaeontology: The Evolutionary History of the Amphibia.  Vol. 4 in the series Amphibian Biology, Surrey Beatty Press.  Eighteen authors, 2000, pp. 973-1494.
-- Chapter 1.  The Fossil Record and Large-scale pattern of amphibian evolution.  In: Palaeontology: The Evolutionary History of the Amphibia, (eds.) H. Heatwole & R.L. Carroll, vol. 4 in the series Amphibian Biology, Surrey Beatty Press, 2000, pp. 973-978.

Clack, J.A. & Carroll, R.L.  Chapter 3.  Early Carboniferous tetrapods.  In:  Palaeontology: The Evolutionary History of the Amphibia, (eds.) H. Heatwole & R.L. Carroll, vol. 4 in the series Amphibian Biology, Surrey Beatty Press, 2000, pp. 1030-1043.
-- Chapter 10.  Lepospondyls.  In:  Palaeontology: The Evolutionary History of the Amphibia, (eds.) H. Heatwole & R.L. Carroll, vol. 4 in the series Amphibian Biology, Surrey Beatty Press, 2000, pp. 1198-1270.
-- Chapter 11.  The Lissamphibian Enigma.  In:  Palaeontology: The Evolutionary History of the Amphibia, (eds.) H. Heatwole & R.L. Carroll, vol. 4 in the series Amphibian Biology, Surrey Beatty Press, 2000, pp. 1270-1273.
-- Chapter 17.  Eocaecilia and the origin of caecilians.  In:  Palaeontology: The Evolutionary History of the Amphibia, (eds.) H. Heatwole & R.L. Carroll, vol. 4 in the series Amphibian Biology, Surrey Beatty Press, 2000, pp. 1402-1411.

1999


Carroll, R.L., Kuntz, A. & Albright, K.  Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.  Evolution and Development, v. 1, 1999, pp. 36-48.

Carroll, R.L. Review of Macroevolution: Patterns and Process.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 19, 1999, pp. 799-801.

Carroll, R.L. Homology among divergent Paleozoic tetrapod clades.  In: Homology, (ed.) G. R. Bock and G. Cardew, John Wiley & Sons, 1999, pp. 47-64.

Carroll, R.L. The ancestry and interrelationships of modern amphibians.  Canadian Association of Herpetologists, v. 13, 1999, pp. 2-7.

1998

Carroll, R.L.  Cranial anatomy of ophiderpetontid aïstopods: Palaeozoic limbless amphibians.  Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society of London, v. 122, 1998, pp. 143-166.

Carroll, R.L. Limits to knowledge of the fossil record.  Zoology, v. 100, 1998, pp. 221-231.

Holmes, R., Carroll, R.L. & Reisz, R.R.  The first articulated skeleton of Dendrerpeton acadianum (Temnospondyli, Dendrerpetontidae) from the Lower Pennsylvanian locality of Joggins, Nova Scotia, and a review of its relationships.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 18, 1998, pp. 64-79.

Carroll, R.L., Bossy, K., Milner, A., Andrews, S.M. & Wellstead, C.  Lepospondyli.  In: Handbuch der Paläoherpetologie, Volume I, (ed.) P. Wellnhofer, Friedrich Pfeil, Verlag, 1998, pp. 220, 111 figures.

1997

Carroll, R.L.   Mesozoic marine reptiles as models of long term, large scale evolutionary phenomena.  In: Mesozoic Marine Reptiles, (eds.) E. Nicholls & J. Callaway, Academic Press, London, New York, 1997, pp. 467-489.

Carroll, R.L. Patterns and Processes of Vertebrate Evolution.  Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 448.

1996

Carroll, R.L.  Elongate early tetrapods:  Why “Lizzie” had little limbs.  Paleontology, no. 52, 1996, pp. 139-148.

Carroll, R.L. Revealing the pattern of marcoevolution.  Nature, v. 381, 1996, pp. 19-20.

Carroll, R.L. Pleistocence and Holocene vertebrates as models for the study of evolution patterns. Chapter in “Palaeoecology an Palaeoenvironments of Late Cenozoic Mammals” (K.M. Stewart and K.L. Seymour,eds.), 1996, pp. 54-82.


 

   
           
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Last update: Nov. 20, 2008